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46

Part One

yourself life. The believer has received faith fromothers and should

hand it on to others. Our love for Jesus and for our neighbor impels

us to speak to others about our faith. Each believer is thus a link in

the great chain of believers. I cannot believe without being carried

by the faith of others, and by my faith I help support others in the

faith.

167

I believe (

Apostles’ Creed

) is the faith of the Church

professed personally by each believer, principally during Baptism.

We believe (

Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed

) is the faith of the

Church confessed by the bishops assembled in council or more

generally by the liturgical assembly of believers. I believe is also

the Church, our mother, responding to God by faith as she teaches

us to say both I believe and We believe.

I.

“L

ord

, L

ook upon

the

F

aith of

Y

our

C

hurch

168

It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes,

and sustains my faith. Everywhere, it is the Church that first

confesses the Lord: “Throughout the world the holy Church ac-

claims you.” as we sing in the hymn “

Te Deum

”; with her and in

her, we are won over and brought to confess: “I believe,” “We

believe.” It is through the Church that we receive faith and new life

in Christ by Baptism. In the

Rituale Romanum,

the minister of

Baptism asks the catechumen: “What do you ask of God’s

Church?”And the answer is: “Faith.” “What does faith offer you?”

“Eternal life.”

54

169

Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive

the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: “We believe

the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not

in

the Church

as if she were the author of our salvation.”

55

Because she is our

mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.

II.

T

he

L

anguage of

F

aith

170

We do not believe in formulas, but in those realities they

express, which faith allows us to touch. “The believer’s act [of faith]

does not terminate in the propositions, but in the realities [which

they express].”

56

All the same, we do approach these realities with

the help of formulations of the faith which permit us to express the

54

Roman Ritual,

Rite of baptism of adults.

55 Faustus of Riez,

De Spiritu Sancto

1, 2: PL 62, 11.

56 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

II-II, 1, 2,

ad

2.

1124

2040

1253

750

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